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Ron Oswanski

Though Ron Oswanski is one of the most prodigious Hammond B3 players on a jazz scene rife with rising organ talent, he’s just starting to introduce himself as a force in his own right. Also an accomplished accordion player, Oswanski has forged a lithe, lyrical and rhythmically charged contemporary sound steeped in the B3’s earthy roots but informed by post-bop developments. With his finely calibrated sense of dynamics and expansive harmonic palette, he can burn with the best of them, and then slow things down for an exquisitely crafted ballad. He showcases his multifaceted sensibility on his stellar CD December’s Moon, a revelatory debut album featuring heavyweights such as guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Clarence Penn, and saxophonist Tim Ries, who produced the project. The CD will be released March 19, 2013 on Palmetto Records.

“I’m not a traditional Jimmy Smith style organ player,” Oswanski says. “I do play that style, but I’m a big ECM fan who’s listened to a lot of Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek. I like open harmonies, and being able to stretch harmonies here and there. In my music subtlety and beautiful melodies are as important as aggressiveness.”

Ranging from Led Zeppelin and Kenny Wheeler, December’s Moon gives a good sense of Oswanski’s scope. Abercrombie, who helped expand the textural Ron Oswanski - Hammond B3P

Ron Oswanski – Hammond Artist @ the Hammond B3P

possibilities of B-3 ensembles with his own ECM organ trio sessions, sets the tone on about half the tracks, applying his liquid tone to Oswanski’s impressive original tunes. The other half of the album is defined by the combustible rhythm section connection between Penn and Patitucci (on both electric and acoustic bass), including a seductive post-bop polka that hearkens back to Oswanski’s roots. Ries, equally effective on soprano and tenor sax, contributes memorably to the first 10 tracks, sitting out only for a captivating trio version of Kenny Wheeler’s “Kayak” with Abercrombie and drummer Ian Froman, and the startlingly beautiful closer, Fred Hersch’s loving evocation of Bill Evans “Evanessence,” by Patitucci, Penn and Oswanski on piano.

Oswanski has been keeping company with formidable musicians for more than two decades. Since entering the jazz big leagues in the early 1990s as a teenager recruited by Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band, he’s collaborated with some of jazz’s most creative figures, performing with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Tim Ries and The Rolling Stones Project, Jack Wilkins and Mike Clark, Milt Hinton, Myron Walden’s Countryfied, Dave Berger and the Sultans of Swing, as well as popular music icons The Temptations, Aretha Franklin and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Vibraphone master Dave Samuels, the driving force behind the Grammy Award-winning Caribbean Jazz Project, launched the Organik Vibe Trio several years ago as a vehicle for collaborating with Oswanski, leading to the enthralling 2010 session Moscow. He also plays widely with Israeli guitarist Oz Noy’s trio with drummer Nate Smith, the Dan Willis Band with percussionist John Hollenbeck, guitarist Sheryl Bailey’s Trio, and Carl Fischer’s (Billy Joel) Groove Project.

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Album Review

Purdie Fabian Oswanski: Move On!

Read "Move On!" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


In a 1977 magazine interview, New York Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (in)famously referred to himself as “the straw that stirs the drink" for his team. On this trio set with organ player and composer Ron Oswanski and bassist-composer Christian Fabian (who also shaped the arrangements), the one and only original funky drummer Bernard Purdie keeps stirring his drum pots to help this trio's funky and rhythmic grooves to Move On!. The leadoff “The Red Plaza" and ...

4
Album Review

Purdie / Fabian / Oswanski: Move On!

Read "Move On!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


No one receives top billing in this tight-knit trio, which embodies organist Ron Oswanski, bassist Christian Fabian and drummer Bernard “Pretty" Purdie. And that is as it should be, as each of them is indispensable to its success. That success is further predicated on how well the three amigos enhance an agenda that is heavily laden with funk and soul including five greasy compositions by Fabian and others by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and even Julia Ward Howe (a gritty ...

4
Album Review

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

Read "December's Moon" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Keyboardist Ron Oswanski is known primarily as an audacious organist. He does, however, also bring a unique agility to the accordion and is endowed with a lyrical touch on the piano as his debut album December's Moon amply demonstrates.The dozen tunes cover modern jazz compositions, Oswanski's originals and a Led Zeppelin anthem. The wide range showcases his versatility as an improviser as well as his adroitness as a bandleader as he keeps august company on this recording with ...

5
Album Review

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

Read "December's Moon" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


With the possible exception of “love" and “you," “moon" enters as a most-welcomed word-muse to performers, composers and lyricists. When “jazz organ" enters into that equation, the expected aural summation might be the blues-infused funk of Jimmy Smith or the steamy straight-ahead of Joey DeFrancesco.December's Moon from multi-keyboardist/composer--and now leader--Ron Oswanski, is a performance surprise that's full-moon bright and thoroughly invigorating. It's a predominantly organ-centric excursion across a series of contemporary-flavored originals and surprisingly-selected established compositions that soars.

7
Album Review

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

Read "December's Moon" reviewed by Edward Blanco


A modernist with the Hammond B-3 organ, Ron Oswanski introduces himself as leader for the first time crafting a vibrant modern jazz, almost fusion-like in texture, musical experiment on December's Moon. On tap are a host of exciting new originals as well as creative and swinging arrangements of music from trumpeter Kenny Wheeler whose “Kayak, and pianist Fred Hersch's “Evanessence," take on a new life here. On a rare note, when was the last time one heard guitarist Jimmy Page ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Keepin’ It Real

Self Produced
2021

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December's Moon

Palmetto Records
2013

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White Meadow

From: December's Moon
By Ron Oswanski

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